Sunday, February 27, 2011

Merchants rally to McGilvra’s cause in March

If you thought that the recent dustup between the McGilvra PTA and the Seattle School District would lead to a decline in parental support for the School, it appears you’d be wrong.   The PTA is, in fact, about to embark on one of its most ambitious fund-raising efforts to date: a month-long partnership with local businesses to raise both money for and awareness of our high-achieving neighborhood public school.  The PTA hopes to benefit the businesses as well, urging McGilvra Elementary’s parents and supporters to shop the neighborhood aggressively in March, hopefully making this a win/win situation for businesses and parents alike.

During March, many Madison Park merchants will participate in the Round-up for McGilvra Elementary program, in which they will ask their customers if they’d like to round up their purchase balance to the next dollar, donating the proceeds to the McGilvra PTA.   Many businesses are also participating in the Night Out for McGilvra, a shopping and dining-out event planned for March 31 (4-8 pm), where a percentage of sales from each supporting merchant will be donated to the PTA.   Moreover, some businesses have agreed to make outright donations.

According to Don Philip, McGilvra PTA’s Vice President of Fundraising, the Madison Park Business Association was immediately on board to the idea of supporting McGilvra with a month of fundraising, once the idea was broached.  “This is a community school and you are community businesses, so why shouldn’t we work together?” was the PTA’s pitch to the merchants, he said.    Parents followed up by contacting neighborhood business owners face to face, including those who are not members of the Business Association. The PTA’s Karen Cretekos, who was involved in this outreach effort, says, “The reaction has been very favorable.”   Some merchants, she notes, even came up with their own ideas for helping the cause.

To date, the businesses that have elected to participate in the Round-up program or  to simply provide on-site cash jars for direct donations to the PTA are:  Bert’s Red Apple, Best Buds, Bill the Butcher, Canopy Blue, Cookin’ at Madison Park, Madison Park Cellars, Madison Park Hardware, Madison Park Jewelers, Madison Park Veterinary Hospital, Marshall’s Cleaners, The Original Children’s Shop, Park Postal, Red Wagon Toys, Scoop du Jour Ice Creamery, Spa Jolie, and Studio Karri L.

The merchants who’ve agreed to donate a percentage of their sales during the Night Out on March 31 are:  Bert’s Red Apple, Bing’s Bar & Grill, Cookin’ at Madison Park, Martha E. Harris Flowers & Gifts (covering gifts only), McGilvra’s Bar & Restaurant, The Original Children’s Shop, Red Wagon Toys, and IndieFlix.

According to Cretekos, Madison Park Café has agreed to host a benefit dinner for the McGilvra PTA on March 24, and Madison Park Conservatory has agreed to donate 15% of its breakfast and lunch sales on March 19 (10 am until 2:30 pm).   Bill the Butcher (Madison Valley) will donate 10% of sales from 3:30 until 7 pm every Tuesday in March (mention McGilvra Elementary and you will be entered in a raffle to win steaks and gift certificates).  The Attic, meanwhile, will donate 20% of all sales on Monday, March 14 (5-9 pm), and Arosa Cafe will donate 5% of sales between 9:30 am and 12:30 pm every day in March.  Other merchants making cash or in-kind donations include:  Mad Pizza, The Music Factory, the Madison Park Times, Key Bank, City People’s, Toby Lumpkin Realtor, and Tully’s.

The PTA’s efforts to involve Madison Park/Madison Valley merchants in its fund-raising efforts during March is only one element of the group’s plan to raise a total of $395,000 for McGilvra Elementary this year.  According to the PTA’S Philip, these funds will be used to provide enhanced education at the school, including enrichment programs such as music, that the students would not otherwise receive.   The PTA will also be using the funds raised to pay for tutors, particularly for those grades that have seen a big bump in enrollment this year.  

If you would like to contribute directly to the McGilvra PTA, visit or mail your donation to: McGilvra PTA Annual Fund, 4111 E. Madison St. #46, Seattle, WA  98112.

[Photo courtesy of the McGilvra PTA.]


  1. What a fantastic fundraising idea! I hope the PTA really pushes for more support from Madison Valley i.e. Arosa, NW Catering, Nishino, Voila, Luc, Jae's, Rovers and Cafe Flora, Crepe etc.....we locals heavily support them. :)

  2. Arosa Cafe came on board after our initial posting.


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